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Alcohol problem = plan for sober life

Old 05-19-2019, 04:42 AM
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Thanks to all for the support!

Scott Ė Iíve only had 2-3 drinking dreams, just bizarre is all. But youíre correct, they are just dreams and that is all.

August Ė I appreciate your support since day 1 of posting! Thank you. As for AA, I am not against it, but donít know what to do yet. I almost went at 4 months but chickened out. Not sure why. The podcasts I follow center around a lot of AA thinking and is the foundation for most interviewed on the podcast, so I listen with intent of heading that way. I relate to that way of thinking. Not sure why I donít go. At near 7 months now would it be weird to walk into to my first meeting?

Tursiops Ė Definitely aiming to build a better life! Still on the busÖ.

ThatWasTheOldMe Ė Thanks for the support!


This is paraphrased from my favorite podcast:

Make changes in your life out of love.

Be cognizant and mindful before you move forward with tasks to enhance your life. Do not do it out of a mindset of lack, that something is missing, or something needs to go, but instead tell yourself youíre doing it to enhance your quality of life because you LOVE yourself. It all starts from the inside out, this is an inside job, always has been always will be.

Do something today that adds value to your life.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:30 PM
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Do something today that adds value to your life.


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Old 05-20-2019, 06:38 AM
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JimmyJ - it's never to let to give any program a try. Whatever "addition" that means to you. I know plenty of folks who didn't start AA right away, or did it gradually - like my husband, who came to a meeting about 4 sober; he became a 1-2x a week goer with me, but it was quite awhile before he decided to work the program himself. He'd built a base of other things which largely jibed w 12 step work, and it became an extension of his program.

The one good thing a day is a great way to think of a simple addition to our good sober daily life. A couple things I do - a friend started me on the habit of writing someone random in my life a note each month; I like stationery so I just pick someone who pops to mind! A more day-to-day thing is a deliberate text to someone who comes to mind- I was amazed when I did that on Fri to a dear friend who recently had a baby, turns out she was in town and we had lunch - and she had something really important to share. Most of the time, it's much more mundane but everyone appreciates a hello! I also learned the people's names at the place I get a diet coke every day and use them - hopefully that makes at least one person who recognizes them as more than the random drive thru person.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:17 AM
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I'm in a rough spot.

I don't understand exactly why I feel this way. It's 7 months now and things are slipping. The AV is kicking in. Thoughts of drinking are lingering longer than just a fleeting moment. I can feel bouts of a depressed attitude without being able to shake it off. It's almost as if I'm letting myself feel "depressed".

These are old feelings I had on a regular basis while drinking. I can feel some self hatred for various reasons. The negative aspects of my life are highlighted right now with job, back pain, stress, family, and social isolation. Old feelings of grabbing that case of beer and just chugging away my problems are surfacing. Although I do indeed enjoy time by myself, I miss the rowdy times with my friends.

I don't think I am romancing any sort of alcohol induced good time either, mainly because I know if do drink again it will put me back where I was. But for some reason that thought isn't scaring me like before.

I am definitely in a funk.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmyJlover View Post
I don't think I am romancing any sort of alcohol induced good time either...
Maybe not romancing alcohol yet, but certainly exchanging friendly texts and thinking about a meet-up.

Nip it in the bud.

I struggled at 6 months, read a post about PAWS and it explained why I was feeling the way I was feeling. It helped just knowing I wasn't going crazy and that PAWS didn't have to mean I was going to relapse.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmyJlover View Post
I'm in a rough spot.

...
don't know if this will help any, but I'm going to say it anyway: I just read this whole thread and was getting really inspired by your story, and hopeful I would be able to incorporate its lessons into a renewed effort to build up some sober time of my own "one day at a time"....So thank you for sharing. And try not to reset that clock to day 1: let me remind you it's not a place you want to visit anymore.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmyJlover View Post
I'm in a rough spot.

I don't understand exactly why I feel this way. It's 7 months now and things are slipping. The AV is kicking in. Thoughts of drinking are lingering longer than just a fleeting moment. I can feel bouts of a depressed attitude without being able to shake it off. It's almost as if I'm letting myself feel "depressed".

These are old feelings I had on a regular basis while drinking. I can feel some self hatred for various reasons. The negative aspects of my life are highlighted right now with job, back pain, stress, family, and social isolation. Old feelings of grabbing that case of beer and just chugging away my problems are surfacing. Although I do indeed enjoy time by myself, I miss the rowdy times with my friends.

I don't think I am romancing any sort of alcohol induced good time either, mainly because I know if do drink again it will put me back where I was. But for some reason that thought isn't scaring me like before.

I am definitely in a funk.
Hey JJL
For me, recovery has two phases - one is the stopping drinking, and the next phase is dealing with all the things we used to deal with by drinking.

Think about healthy positive ways to deal with those negative aspects and depression - it was important for me not to isolate too much for example - I started to build a new sober/normal drinker friend network.

Very few of would stay sober if it meant being lonely and miserable.

There are ways to have fun that don't require alcohol at their centre and there are people out there who don't need to drink to have a good time

if you've no ideas or no idea how to start maybe seeing a Dr or a therapist could be the next step?

Don't give the AV any room to flourish.

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Old 06-06-2019, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by GetSmart View Post
don't know if this will help any, but I'm going to say it anyway: I just read this whole thread and was getting really inspired by your story, and hopeful I would be able to incorporate its lessons into a renewed effort to build up some sober time of my own "one day at a time"....So thank you for sharing. And try not to reset that clock to day 1: let me remind you it's not a place you want to visit anymore.
I want to say thank you for the words of encouragement. Your comment is timely. I know the cliche, "if I can do it, anyone can" seems it bit overused...but I really do believe this right now. Build your time, you got this!
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:23 AM
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Greatly appreciate everyone's feedback here. I am out of my funk, but it took some grit. It won't be the last. This ain't easy peasy, and I'm realizing if you indeed have an alcohol problem and want a plan for a sober life, you have to work at it. And yes, it really is 1 day, 24hrs at a time I guess.

The 24hr mantra is definitely a cliche, but it works. So why not adapt to it? It puts life into perspective.

One other tidbit I have learned over the past 7 months is that I need tools. This means a variety of avenues to utilize in living a sober life. The key is having multiple, so if one tool isn't working or a kink pops up, you move on with the next.

I can only speculate with this being the longest I've ever been sober, but as the year progresses I am approaching things in life I've never completed sober. As the seasons change I am circling around to situations I previously would have always associated with alcohol. I am facing these situations head on. So looking back can put a negative aspect on things, but if I look forward I can remind myself the true hardships I felt with those moments, and if honest with myself, I will recall those events were not actually that fun with the associated negatives alcohol brought with it. This is key for me folks.

I appreciate everyone of you. This place is an excellent resource!
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:47 PM
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Really great posts here and great job on over 7 months J!!

I just wanted to chime in my sober plan. I only have 20 days but I am a GRATEFUL alcoholic these days and have never been happier in sobriety.

My program:

AA meetings: minimum of 2 per day on days I am not working.
Program calls: I make it a point to linger at meetings, thank people for their shares, see if theyre open to calls or texts, exchange numbers and CALL 3 people a day.
Sharing: I try to share at least at every other meeting I go to. I'm new and speaking a small bit of my experience helps me and helps people know I need them in my life
Youtube: I listen to sobriety recovery videos and AA convention speakers
Podcasts: High Sobriety and others
Steps: I work with my sponsor on the steps and she is preparing me to work with others when the time comes
Reading: I'm reading a positive thinking book and the big book
Exercise: 30-45 minutes of cardio every other day for stress relief
Food: 50% healthy 50% comfort (roughly, for now)
SR: Daily, focusing mostly on other people's posts
Socially: I have no friends which I am grateful for because I don't have to explain that I don't drink. With my family and dates I say I am simply a non drinker now, more details if we are close. AA has provided me with many social connections but the main purpose is to help each other stay sober.
Spirituality: I try to pray/meditate for a few minutes each day. I did it on miami beach today
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:38 AM
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8 months today:

My sense of smell has returned full force! I've been meaning to mention this. So strange, it started to come back around 3 months and I smell things now I did when I was younger. The grass after being cut is strong, sweet smell of the mountain air infused with rhododendrons, humid warm air after it rains, fresh food just prepared, and so much more. I remember being hungover many times and my smell and taste would be lost, then returning a little once the hangover abates. But my sense of smell was perpetually disabled from the booze.

It's hard right now. There is no pink cloud. I'm in the season of my life when drinking was at it's best...summer. At times I feel isolated, socially excluded, and even lonely. Not to say I can't just go out and be with some friends, but most are enjoying cocktails and/or planning events around drinking. So I miss out on some of those. I can explain.

A big concern I have noticed is losing friends. I'm not talking about bar "friends" or those people you thought were friends, I'm talking about your dudes, bros, sisters, whatever...your friends. I fear losing a few. The first few weeks and months I simply removed myself socially and had no business telling anyone why. It wasn't even until 3 months in when I got the "hey man, where have you been?". The problem is that I haven't spoken up on why I've been absent. I didn't announce to my friends that alcohol is the reason for my social withdraw and man, it was causing a lot of problems. A few friends have probably even took offense and likely think I simply don't hangout anymore. There are only so many times you can avoid a text, say no to lunch, and always be "busy" when asked about a hangout. Again, not that I'm intentionally isolating myself, but I am. Not sure how healthy it is, but for the first few months it was best. I didn't want to be around alcohol. Perhaps I should tell them the truth? Maybe something like, "hey man, look heres the reason I've not been around too much..nothing personal". The problem is, once you do that you open yourself up. I can't.

So I'm proud to be 8 months sober. A lot has changed physically, mentally, and dare I even say spiritually? I've completed huge tasks in life and accomplished a few things career wise I would have NEVER done 8 months ago. I mean that part is huge and makes me feel confident. It's like I looked in the mirror and was all like, "Yo, I know that guy! There you are! I know you..." Been away awhile, and now I'm back. In the works, but I'm moving forward.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmyJlover View Post
Perhaps I should tell them the truth? Maybe something like, "hey man, look heres the reason I've not been around too much..nothing personal". The problem is, once you do that you open yourself up. I can't.
Not even to, as you call them, " ...your dudes, bros, sisters, whatever...your friends."?
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:42 AM
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Jimmy....proud of you for being at 8 mo, staying around here with us, so much stuff!

I'm just going to throw back in that more action specific to recovery is something you've touched on a few times- like when you mention tools- and it sounds like that would be super helpful to you right now. AA or something else- learning specifics for dealing with choices about people, places, events, everything is critical. That's how I began to sort thru the emotional stuff about relationships too.

I'm a big believer that each of us can make this sober life thing harder than it has to be (by doing it "alone," or not taking advantages of programs and resources available) and we really don't have to do that!!
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post
Not even to, as you call them, " ...your dudes, bros, sisters, whatever...your friends."?
You are correct.

I'm gonna say something of real truth putting me in a vulnerable spot, but here goes;

I'm afraid. Not the kind of afraid some folks might think, but afraid of failure, ridicule, and accompanied with a strong case of the what ifs. Its like this, what if I tell my few best buds what has really been going on? So they listen, offer support, and remain my friends. Likely it's no big deal and I've blown all this out of proportion because I'm a firm believer that in reality, no one really cares if I drink LOL.

But in doing so I open myself up to be read like a book. Now people know. Then....what if I drink again? I will then be labeled the guy who quit drinking because it was a problem but relapsed. Everyone close to me would know that it was a struggle, and there I am drinking again, taking down the very addiction I couldn't handle. Weak.

So as crazy as it sounds, at 8 months sober I am afraid of telling folks my struggle in fear of judgment suppose I fail.


*Thank you to everyone for the support. One thing I've learned is offering support to others is how this works, it keeps the wheel turning.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:01 PM
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Just going to throw in that there no one cares as much as we do, or thinks about us and our drinking as much as we do. Even those closest to us.

Getting away from "it all being about me" so I could BE me, sober, growing, so on, was essential.

And 8 mo is fantastic - and still early. Really early, in the scheme of life sober. Which is my life, and ongoing plan til I die from [not alcohol].

Those tools I've mentioned include mental stuff too - reading, meditation, devotionals, counseling....lots of stuff helps us learn new ways of thinking, which is what bolsters the new ways of doing and vice versa.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:28 AM
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Itís been 9months since I took my last sip of alcohol. The humiliation I felt while sipping that last can of beer is hard to forget. However, I no longer obsess about the self-hatred, remorse, anxiety, or do I have the need for destructive behavior. But I will never forget the perpetual uneasiness during those last few months. I thought death was the best thing. TodayÖitís gone.

You hear of people having different experiences with stopping alcohol. Timeframes and results vary from person to person. Not saying things are complete sunshine and rainbows, but around the 8month mark, things really changed. Here are my latest;

1) I no longer have the desire to drinkÖitís been removed from my life. The chains of obsession you might say, are broken. Itís one of the strangest parts. Everything I do now seems natural. The flow of everyday encounters, social hangouts, personal interactions, all of it. It doesnít include alcohol. I think about it sure, but the obsession isnít there.
2) I am confident with my choices. The choice to be sober has become the foundation of my life. I am not ashamed of not drinking, declining drinks from friends, being the sober guy, or whatever may have you. I donít apologize for my choices. It seems silly to look back and think how I worried about this.
3) I choose things differently. I donít know how to explain this. I guess there is no bondage or anchor holding me back.

Some physical changes;

1) My skin is smooth on my face. I shine. I look hydrated. My eyes are pearly white. I smile.
2) My veins in my hands and arms are there againÖin a healthy-looking way, as if Iím flowing strength through them LOL.
3) Less muscle tension
4) Drastic decrease in palpitations Ė still working on the coffee thing 
5) I am heat tolerant again
6) Leg muscles are back

Mental changes;

1) I feel confident in social settings (not 100% but working on it)
2) I can rationalize my fears
3) I can feel at ease

There are a few notable moments and I have taken note. These are the times when you stop and realize how far youíve come and recognize you no longer have such negative feelings. The ability to be able to step out of my comfort zone and still feel grounded is amazing.

Most relevant line Iíve heard pertaining to where I am today; ďDonít stop before the miracle happensĒ
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:57 AM
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That's great. Have you heard of the honeymoon period? If not read up on it, talk to someone, and prepare to crash.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:30 AM
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Jimmy that's awesome!!!

I don't believe in the pink cloud then crash theory - I believe that we can keep growing our capacity to live pink, as we keep learning how to deal with ups and downs yet stay in a peaceful place (I have a lot more to say about this in my blog - pink is a pretty important word and place in my world).

That first #3 is so important!!

We keep gaining the insights and the literal things (skin! that's something I get complimented on an at 43 tomorrow, that makes me glow ).

Glad you are here, sharing and great job on 9 mo!
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Grymt View Post
That's great. Have you heard of the honeymoon period? If not read up on it, talk to someone, and prepare to crash.
I experienced a sort of euphoric elated feeling just before month 3, after coming out of the darkness from sheltering myself the first 2months not drinking. At that time I had the feeling of "oh this is great, totally doable, everything seems like this will work perfect". I hit a wall shortly after when I came up against my first real obstacle. I had no tools.

It has been slow momentum of building since. This is the first time in my sobriety I have felt confident after months of building. It's a daily fight, some easier than others. I now go a few days without thinking about it, whereas before was an everyday obsession. But it's work.

I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reaching out, and who knows, maybe your that someone to talk to about it.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:43 AM
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That's good. Doesn't change the fact that the history of recovery is littered with honeymoon brick wall ends. It's good to be aware of so that IF it happens one knows whats happening and has coping in the script already. If. Otherwise, yes, its a good space. Enjoy. Be happy. Relaax...


Oops, you already replied. Nevermind. It's all good

Last edited by Grymt; 08-02-2019 at 07:45 AM. Reason: Posted before above reply
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